Short track star Lara van Ruijven passed away on Friday from the consequences of an autoimmune disease. The world champion in the 500 meters has turned 27 years old.
Van Ruijven was with the Dutch selection at a training camp in the French Font Romeu when she became seriously ill. She was admitted to Perpignan hospital late last month, where it was found that she had an immune system disorder. Van Ruijven was kept in an artificial coma. Her condition worsened in recent days.
For years, Van Ruijven was a regular in the Dutch team. In 2019 she made history by being the first Dutch woman to win an individual world title in the short track at the 500 meters in Bulgarian Sofia. A year earlier, the born Naaldwijkse picked up Olympic bronze with the relay team at the Games in Pyeongchang.